Forget Jansson, this Leeds regular has been the signing of the season
COMMENT By Matt Farr
The importance of a reliable goalkeeper is often overlooked in the race to win promotion.
The impetus is often on strikers to score the necessary goals to fire them into contention, and that has been echoed with the performances of Chris Wood this season for Leeds.
Wood has scored 25 goals from 44 appearances in the Championship this season, lifting Leeds into the race to finish in the play-offs.
Pontus Jansson has also been a formidable asset for Leeds this season, and one of Garry Monk’s finest purchases as manager of the Yorkshire club.
However, his acquisition of Rob Green last summer could well have been the best piece of business at Elland Road this term.
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Green, 37, was snapped up by Leeds on a free transfer at the end of last season following his release from fellow Championship outfit QPR.
The veteran England stopper signed a one-year deal at the club, but was rewarded for his fine performances with a contract extension last month.
He is now under contract at Elland Road until the end of the 2017-18 season, and if things go to plan in the coming weeks, it will be after their first season back in the Premier League.
He will likely have a big impact there as well, and will be one of only a few figures in the current Leeds squad with a history in the top-flight.
Green has brought vast experience to the Leeds squad this season, and has formed a stable foundation at the heart of the defence, particularly with two new additions in front of him in Jansson and Kyle Bartley.
The ex-England international has kept 15 clean sheets from 42 league appearances, and has played starring roles in Leeds last two games, even though they picked up just one point.
He pulled off a number of stunning saves in each game, but his efforts against Newcastle on Friday had a particularly lasting impact as Leeds snatched a late draw against their promotion rivals.
If Leeds fulfil their promotion ambition this season, they owe a lot of their success to the consistency of Green.
Many football fans will remember Green for his howler at the 2010 World Cup, where he cost England a win against the USA.
But the assertive, confident Leeds stopper looks a completely different character this season, and he deserves all the praise coming his way.
In other Leeds news, Alfonso Pedraza has posted this Twitter message after the defeat to Fulham.